- Apple Vision Pro, a mixed reality headset, was officially introduced at the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference.
- The headset is set to release in early 2024 with a price tag of $3,499.
- Apple Vision Pro offers a unique blend of augmented and virtual reality, providing a comfortable and customizable experience for users.
Apple’s long-awaited mixed reality headset is finally here. Rumored for years, Apple Inc. officially introduced the state-of-the-art spatial computer at the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5th. It’s the company’s first major new product line since Apple Watch launched in 2015. The Apple Vision Pro still has a long way to go, and the public won’t bring it home until early 2024. Still, with preorders now open, it’s well worth reviewing. Here’s what you need to know about Apple’s new product.
5 Must-Know Facts About Apple Vision Pro
- The Apple Vision Pro is powered by a separate battery pack that fits conveniently in the user’s pocket. This battery delivers up to two hours of use. The headset is still fully functional for longer uses when plugged in via a power adapter.
- Unlike the Apple Watch or the AirPods, the Vision Pro is a standalone product, not an accessory. While the device seamlessly integrates with other Apple products, it doesn’t rely on them to function.
- The Apple Vision Pro tracks a user’s eyes and displays them outside the device using two cameras and an array of LEDs. This feature’s called EyeSight. It creates an illusion of transparency on the front of the headset, helping interactions with others feel more natural.
- Users control the Vision Pro using their hands. External controllers are not necessary. The headset has 12 cameras, six microphones, and five sensors. Four of these cameras are dedicated to tracking users’ hands and gestures.
- Unlike rival headsets that emphasize gaming and entertainment, the Apple Vision Pro focuses on productivity and work. The headset supports numerous apps from the Microsoft Office suite, Zoom, and Adobe Creative Suite.
Apple Vision Pro Specs
|Product Type||Mixed reality headset|
|Release Date||TBA (Early 2024)|
|Display Quality||4K with HDR|
|Number of Pixels||Approx. 23 million|
Apple Vision Pro: Where To Buy
Ahead of the Apple Vision Pro’s official release in early 2024, you can buy the headset only through Apple. For now, this purchase is in the form of a forthcoming pre-order. However, the headset will presumably hit shelves at electronics stores, big-box retailers, online e-commerce giants, and anywhere else you can typically buy Apple products after its to-be-announced release date. If you don’t want to pre-order but are still interested in purchasing a headset, you can opt-in to email updates on the product’s page on Apple’s site.
- Original price
- Units Sold
The History of Apple Vision Pro: What To Know
By the time the Apple Vision Pro officially releases in early 2024, nine years will have elapsed. Apple’s development of this mixed-reality headset dates back to the company’s 2015 acquisition of Metaio. This German augmented reality company was initially expected to be folded into the development of Apple’s electric smart car. But, it soon became apparent that the so-called Project Titan might not be completed until 2028. As such, Apple looked for other implementations for its Metaio tech.
Bringing together top talent from Dolby Laboratories, Metaio, and the company’s in-house Apple Watch division, Apple commissioned a simple AR demonstration in 2016. It wasn’t enough to impress sure naysayers within the company, though. Instead of halting development, Apple doubled down and increased the size of its special team by bringing in a NASA specialist in 2017. Soon, this AR demo evolved into an augmented reality/virtual reality hybrid. Of course, the trouble didn’t stop there. Over the next several years, the team grew and shrunk with critical hires and departures alike.
As with most modern Apple products, public leaks eventually started seeping through the top-secret cracks long before Apple made any official announcement. Reports that Apple executives had seen (and were impressed by) the rumored Apple mixed reality headset surfaced as early as May 2022. Later in the year, reports emerged that Apple was commissioning filmmakers to develop exclusive content for their upcoming headset. Then, in June 2023, the announcement officially arrived. The Apple Vision Pro will formally hit shelves in early 2024 for a premium price of $3,499.
Other Editions of Apple Vision
Unsurprisingly, based on the “Pro” suffix, it’s safe to assume we might see a less expensive version of the Apple Vision at some point in the future. Some in the tech space believe we may see this base model Apple Vision as early as 2024. Judging by the way the iPhone, iPad, AirPods, and MacBook product lines use “Pro,” Apple is unlikely to stick with just this one version of the mixed reality headset. Until we have an official announcement about other Apple Vision headset editions, we can only speculate.
The Public Response to Apple Vision Pro
Apple treated guests at the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference to more than just a simple presentation. Attendees had an opportunity to experience the Apple Vision Pro with a hands-on demo. Before guests strapped a headset on and started tinkering, Apple first scanned their eyes, ears, and faces to make sure the headset fit their heads and faces. Impressively, glass-wearers offered a version with their specific prescription. This accessibility feature will also be included at the launch.
Most people agreed Apple Vision Pro headset was remarkably comfortable. With its soft straps and cushioned frame, the sheer weight of the device was noticeably offset by the comfort of the wear. There’s no official weight to report on just yet. (This could be because Apple may still be hashing out the particulars.) Still, thanks to the external battery pack, there’s no doubt the device cuts down on a decent amount of weight that would’ve been dedicated to a built-in power source.
Following the presentation and hands-on demonstrations, the biggest question on the public’s mind remained: How does the Apple Vision Pro differ from other virtual reality headsets on the market? The simple answer is it depends.” By focusing on mixed reality instead of fully artificial or fully virtual reality, the Apple Vision Pro uniquely blends the two to highlight the best parts of each. This is a significant upside. Nonetheless, the $3,499 price tag, short battery life, and inherent obtrusiveness are serious downsides.
Should You Pre-Order the Apple Vision Pro?
Ultimately, the decision to pre-order Apple Vision Pro rests with you. Can you drop $3,499 on a first-generation Apple product that’s not yet proven? Do you want to gamble on a brand-new Apple product type whose best is yet to come? If the answer is yes, then this mixed-reality headset may certainly be worth pre-ordering. If you’re hesitant, you’d better hold out until we have more information.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Apple.